Bernie Ebbers Loses Supreme Court Bid

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear WorldCom former chief Bernie Ebbers' appeal. Ebbers, at 65, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Ebbers argued in court papers that the trial judge improperly allowed prosecutors to use testimony from witnesses who had been given immunity, but denied immunity to potential defense witnesses.

The judge also instructed jurors that they could find Ebbers guilty if they believed he suspected a crime was being committed but intentionally looked the other way.

It appears now he will die there.


As I wrote in an earlier post,

As for cooperators, the Court gives it stamp of approval to the disparity between Scott Sullivan who got 5 years notwithstanding he was the chief architect of the Worldcom scheme, and Ebbers who got 25 years.

It is just sickening that the more serious offender gets a slap on the wrist because he told the truth as the Government saw it and the jury bought it, while the defendant who chooses to exercise his constitutional right to a jury trial and hold the governmentnot to its burden of proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt not only gets convicted based on the cooperator's testimony but gets hammered at sentencing as well.

As to the length of Ebbers' sentence being unreasonable, the court passes the blame to Congress -- even after noting that almost any white collar offender in a publicly traded company could be looking at life if he didn't fold

Earlier Posts:

< CIA Rachets Up Hunt for Osama bin Laden | Obama's Credit to Selma Marchers Off By Four Years >
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  • Display: Sort:
    the insult (none / 0) (#1)
    by TomK on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 09:39:59 PM EST
    is that the government gave the guy 5 years.  they should of given him 50 years and ebbers 25.  But ebbers ain't serving to much.

    question re judges instructions (none / 0) (#2)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 09:43:04 PM EST
    The judge told the jury that it would be enough if
    Ebbers suspected that a crime was happening and looked the other way?

    Of what was he convicted and how does the charge include within it looking the other way while suspecting a crime was going on?

    It's the ostrich instruction (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 09:50:30 PM EST
    It's called that because one is intentionally burying his head in the sand to avoid knowing what's going on.

    the ostrich instruction and escort services (none / 0) (#4)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 05:11:00 PM EST
    how often and in what circumstances do judges give these "ostrich instructions," if I may ask?

    You can be part of a conspiracy/fraud by being charge of business in which the accounting department does fraud, and you don't know about it, but you could have, if you had looked into it?

    How much knowledge does the owner of the business need?

    Or, to take another somewhat similar example--some persons under some circumstances are charged with "permitting prostitution."  Legally, according to the statutes, that is supposed to be to have knowledge that prostitution is going on on one's premises or in one's business, but did not take reasonable steps to prevent it or stop it.  The way the statutes read, it sounds like positive knowledge.

    Are you saying that judges will tell a jury that the business owner needs to have had positive knowledge of prostitution, or that they would tell them, the business owner could have or should have known that some persons were committing prostitution?

    And, for what it matters, no, I don't run an escort service!  However, I want to understand how judges are applying the law, whether it comes to the escort service or the worldcom accounting fraud or other similar.

    If an "ostrich instruction" could be given, then, nearly every escort service in the USA could be shut down as a criminal enterprise and conspiracy?
    Of course, some are, but it seems like the justice system needs more proof than that an escort had sex with a client or agreed to such.